The senior football members of the George Rogers Clark football team have one last shot at ending a 12-game losing streak.
The Cardinals haven’t won since a 34-14 victory over Tates Creek more than a year ago and will attempt to avoid a winless campaign against Rowan County Friday night at Cardinal Stadium in the regular season finale for both teams. Clark (0-9) will honor its cast of seniors prior to the contest before opening the playoffs at top-ranked Louisville Trinity on Nov. 2.
“Our focus is on nothing but Rowan County this week,” Collins said. “It’s senior night and these seniors want to definitely prepare well and go out on a good (note) at home. The focus is good. I know what these kids are capable of doing and when they put that together for four quarters, good things will happen.”
The Cardinals closed out district play with a 50-18 loss to Madison¿Central last week and finished as a No. 4 seed in the four-team field. The Indians were second in the district, while Lafayette claimed the top spot and Tates Creek was third.
Clark coach Steven Collins met with his players Monday to “clear the air” and began preparing for the Vikings with a renewed purpose.
“I’ve been very impressed with these kids, they’re very resilient,” the Clark coach said earlier this week. “They have a short-term memory, which is what you’ve got to have, but they’re ready to move on.”
Collins said his team is focused on winning and expects his senior class to achieve the feat.
“I¿want that for the kids more than anything,” he said. “I’ve had my share of victories in this game and won big games, but these kids, here, it’s about them. I want these seniors to say, ‘hey, we won our last football game here at this stadium’ and to have a sense of pride about that. I want them to go out on a good note before we go on to the playoffs.”
The senior class has endured a coaching change during the past 12 months and just missed out on notching the team’s first victory two weeks ago in a 46-39 loss to Tates Creek.
During the loss to the Indians last week, Collins stuck with his upper class players in the second half despite the lopsided margin.
“I’m not going to discard (the seniors),” he said. “I’ve told them all along that I’m here for them and this is their football team.”
The Vikings (4-5) experienced a similar defeat as Clark a week ago, dropping a 58-14 setback to Johnson Central.
“They’re a good football team, but we’ve got to come out and prepare — that’s one of our challenges — is to prepare to win and just not go out and expect it,” Collins said. “We have to go out and take it — prepare yourself mentally and physically this week.”
Rowan Co. at GRCHS
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Records: Clark 0-9; Rowan 4-5
Last week: M.¿Central 50, Clark 18; Johnson Central 58, Rowan 14
Last meeting: Rowan 14, Clark 0.
Radio: 107.7 FM¿WKYN